Brexit: Reciprocal Rights for EU-Resident Expat Brits and UK-Resident EU Citizens.

  • The current response from the European Commission does not foresee any negotiation of reciprocal agreements protecting the rights of EU citizens already legally resident within the UK, and those for expat Brits similarly living and working within other EU member states, prior to the triggering of Article 50 which will initiate the process of Britain leaving the EU.
  • In advance of such uncertainty, therefore, some expat Brits e.g. such as Betty Chatterjee below, are already taking the opportunity to apply for joint citizenship where they are currently EU resident.
  •  MPs should also take due note concerning the seriousness of the potential expat vote, when the British government’s  “Votes for Life” bill comes for debate before them, when she adds:
    “In the meantime my interest in British politics has been sharpened. I have joined the Lib Dems and given the chance, would most certainly vote in British elections.”
  • Betty Chatterjee in the latest comment on our Sign-up poll says:

    “I have lived in Denmark since 1972. Until the law was changed last year making it possible to have joint citizenship, it did not occur to me to apply for Danish citizenship. I was happy with my status as an expat Brit in Denmark. After all Britain and Denmark are both member states of the EU and I have a very strong sense of European identity.”

    “Just after Brexit I send in my application for Danish citizenship and I hope it is granted before Britain finally leaves the EU.”

    “In the meantime my interest in British politics has been sharpened. I have joined the Lib Dems and given the chance, would most certainly vote in British elections.”

Posted in 15-Year-Limit After EU Referendum, 15-year-rule badly affects expat Brits., Brexit: Reciprocal Rights for UK & EU Citizens, Expat Brit deprived of his EU Ref. Vote | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

15-Year-Rule badly affects Expat Brits, particularly those impacted by EU Referendum Result.

Let’s hope that the British government is not so diverted by Brexit that its planned  “Votes for Life” bill, which will remove the 15-year-limit on our voting rights, fails to become law within the 5-year term of the current parliament which ends in 2020.

As Richard Scivier comments below, “the 15-year time limit rule  we have in the UK has badly affected those working overseas and in the EU – these people are most affected by the results of the EU referendum.”

Richard Scivier  comments on our Sign-Up poll:

I am now retired and living in the UK, having returned to the UK in 2008. I am however in contact with former colleagues in the countries where I have worked as an English teacher (France, Spain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia). Some who are married to overseas spouses are seriously considering taking up citizenship of their spouses and children.

The 15-year time limit rule we have in the UK has badly affected those working overseas and in the EU – these people are most affected by the results of the EU referendum. The present government says it is considering removing the time limit rule, but that is too late for the last referendum and the results unless there is a second EU referendum.

Countries like Spain and France do not have the time limit rule for their citizens and can vote wherever they are living. Indeed France has a deputy for all French citizens living in Northern Europe, which means mostly the UK!

Posted in 15-year-rule badly affects expat Brits., Brexit Problem for Ex-Serviceman, Expat Brit deprived of his EU Ref. Vote, Expat Brits Forced Home?, Voting Rights | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Brexit Problem for a British Expatriate & Ex-Serviceman

  • This comment recently posted on our sign-up poll , sums up the impact of the 15-year-rule  on a British expatriate & ex-serviceman, particularly the Brexit consequences of  the EU referendum in which he had no say but has to live with the consequences.

    Another good reason why the UK government must ensure that its policy document “A democracy that works for everyone: British citizens overseas“, results in  implementation of  its manifesto commitment to introduce “votes for life” within the term of this parliament.

     William Ould  (9th November, 2016)

    I served in HM Forces for 33 years after which I was discharged locally in Germany in 1996 and have remained here with my German born wife, our daughters and grand children ever since.

    All my working life I have been a British Tax Payer and still am today through my forces pension.

    I vote in local and European elections and find it absolutely disgusting that I am not allowed to vote in the country of my birth and to which I pay taxes.

    I was not able to vote in the referendum (I did ask), I would have voted to remain, and now I find my livelihood endangered due to the fall of the Pound and eventually loss of my status as an EU resident.

    I have no wish to become an immigrant nor change my Nationality, or have to request a visa to visit my homeland.

Posted in Brexit Problem for Ex-Serviceman, Voting Rights | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Worst feature of EU Referendum for British Expat!

Extracted from an article “The EU Referendum Decision” by Robin Baker, a British expat living in Paris:

“However for me, and I must confess that as an expatriate I am biased in this respect, the worst feature of the referendum was the fact that expatriates of more than 15 years standing were denied the vote.”

“The Conservative Party had promised expatriates votes for life and the Government had over a year to prepare and table legislation to correct this injustice. Alternatively, the referendum could have been delayed until they were ready.”

“The new minister, Chris Skidmore, was appointed Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office on 17 July 2016. His Policy Statement announcing details of the intended Votes for Life Bill was made at the Conservatives Abroad conference on 6 October, i.e. less than three months later.”

“This timing can only mean either that Skidmore achieved within less than three months what it was impossible to do between the general election on 7th May 2015 and the referendum on 23rd June 2016, or that the paper was already prepared and ready before his appointment, i.e. before the referendum, but not released.”

Either way I now have no doubt that the failure to table the Votes for Life Bill prior to the referendum was deliberate in order to help the Brexit side win.”

Posted in EU Ref: Supreme Court Challenge, Expats in High Court Challenge 16 March 2016, Expats Right to Vote in 2020, Gov Commitment on Vote for Life, Voting Rights | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

British Government Commitment on Expats’ “Vote for Life”.

Published today in The Telegraph (Thursday 6th October, 2016):

“The Government is to announce on Friday that it will scrap the 15-year limit after which more than three million Britons living overseas lose their right to vote.”

“Following the British people’s decision to leave the EU, we now need to strengthen ties with countries around the world and show the UK is an outward-facing nation.

“Our expat community has an important role to play in helping Britain expand international trade, especially given two-thirds of expats live outside the EU.”

Here’s the link (with thanks to Dominic McGrath) to the related government overseas elector policy statement

Posted in Expats Right to Vote in 2020, Gov Commitment on Vote for Life, Harry Shindler Presses PM., LibDems Support Votes for All British Expats, Votes for Expats-The Times 28 April 2016 | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

British Expats’ “Right to Vote” in 2020 General Election

Quoting from an article in The Times of 24th September, 2016

Expats will be given a vote in the 2020 general election :

“Millions more Britons living abroad will be entitled to vote in the next general election after Theresa May committed to changing the law before 2020.”

“Harry Shindler, a Second World War veteran [and campaigner for expat voting rights] ……said that he received the assurances in a letter from Downing Street dated September 19.”

“The letter from an assistant private secretary to Mrs May said: “Plans to remove the 15-year time limit on overseas voting rights were set out in the government’s election manifesto in May 2015.”

“This will be delivered by means of a government bill once policy details have been finalised.”

“The government said that it was making steady progress on the issue.”

Note: The article is a bit out of date with its figure of 20,000 for the actual number of expats registered to vote, when over 113,000 were registered for the 2015 general election and considerably more (final figures awaited from the Electoral Commission) for the EU Referendum in June of this year.

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Posted in Expats Right to Vote in 2020, Harry Shindler Presses PM., Harry Shindler vs UK, LibDems Call for Expat Vote, Manifesto 2015 Commitment, Voting Rights | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The aftermath of the Brexit vote – the verdict from a derided expert

In his last post as Director of LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance, John Van Reenen gives his verdict on the Brexit campaigns, the media, politicians, and being a derided expert.

“The referendum was won on a drumbeat of anti-foreigner sentiment. It’s the same tune being played by demagogues in every corner of the globe. It’s the same tune that was played in the 1930s. It’s the same old beat that rises in volume when people are afraid. In the UK, it’s echoed by a rabidly right-wing press and unchallenged by a flaccid establishment media. Mixed by a band of unscrupulous liars and political zealots, it has become a tsunami of bile that has downed and drowned a once great nation. The only question is which other countries will now be swept along in this poisonous flood.”

Posted in Brexit 3. - Sovereignty, Brexit 4 - Rude Awakening, Brexit Verdict of Derided Expert, Brexit- 1. The Great Mistake, Red Tape No Reason to Leave EU | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment